Anita’s beautiful blog Castles, Crowns and Cottages is always a pleasure to read, and so I decided to join her Simply Irresistible Link Party that launches today. Those of us participating have agreed to write about our dream European destination.

Won’t you come with me for a little visit to la culla del Rinascimento, the cradle of the the Renaissance, otherwise known as the eternally lovely Florence and the winding roads of Tuscany?

As an homage to the spirit of Anita’s dazzling reveries,

Ever since I was little, I wanted to see Michelangelo’s sculptures.

The angel that he set free from the marble, the Doni Tondo, and so much more….

I visited Florence with my family when I was 19 and went back to study art the next year.

My time in Florence was glorious.

There were magical dinner parties that lasted for hours.

Afternoons filled with shopping and cafes.

Glamorous parties, where I picked my way through champagne bottles strewn under the olive trees at villas up in the hills of Firenze. Florentines know how to enjoy life and then some.

I don’t remember much about art class except that our teacher would wear a pareo and nothing else in the afternoons…But I do remember taking an hour or more every morning to spend alone in the Ufizzi and Palazzo Pitti walking among works by Botticelli, da Vinci, Durer, Michelangelo, Titian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt and so many more. I never started my day until I had spent some time in front of my favorite Raphael painting.

The Madonna della Seggiola is to this day the most beautiful painting that I have ever seen. Missing morning class to spend time in front of it was one of the best educational decisions I ever made.

From the beginning, life in Firenze was a slice of heaven laced with chocolate from Rivoire…you haven’t lived until you’ve sipped this melted chocolate concoction.

It was my first behind-the-scenes glimpse of handmade luxury leather goods;

little did I know it was to become a life long passion…

And then, not surprisingly, one evening, at a party overlooking the Arno, I was struck by the same lightning that Dante wrote about in the Divine Comedy.

For a time I lived with him above the Piazza della Signoria.

I missed one plane ride home. And then another…

We toured the Tuscan countryside, tasting wine and stopping in villas to taste more wine. He knew everyone and everyone knew him. It was like a strange but wonderful dream.

Weeks were ticking by and I was missing the beginning of grad school.
He asked me to stay and I thought about it.

I’m sure I filled pages in my journal.
Penne for your thoughts, ragazza…

I was just 20 and at the time the things I still wanted to do made

the 12 years between us seem like 1200.

Before I left he gave me the pocket watch his mother, a beautiful artist, had worn in her passport photo. And yes, this is the very same watch. I still have it.

To this day Firenze has a dear place in my heart and always will.
Just thinking about it has made me want to return.

Have you ever visited a place that was simply irresistible?

Related Article

23 Comments

design elements June 2, 2019 at 05:27

your art-inspired posts are simpley my fave of all your posts.
Big hugs Maria

June June 2, 2019 at 15:52

Glad you to see that you’re back! Love the story!!
Keep in touch

xx

Pamela June 3, 2019 at 01:01

I can see that her arms are so thin. This is a fascinating painting. The white floral dress is so pretty. Your drawings that you share in IG Mary Jo are amazing.

Karena Albert June 3, 2019 at 08:13

This is such a poignant post Mary Jo! The Wyeths are an incredible family of artists And Andrew’s Christina is unforgettable. This Spring I am enjoying the wondrous weather and getting out to walk! ! Thanks for the super tips!

Xoxo

La Contessa June 3, 2019 at 14:41

Thank YOU for the story BEHIND This painting!I had not known any of that………..love how you created a blog POST around this LADY.55…….that will be my age in July!How on earth did that occur………
Hugs to You……..Looks like you are blooming in NEW YORK CITY!Keep it up!!XX

Kizzy Von Doll June 3, 2019 at 15:36

This is really wonderful..such a gorgeous painting x

cat eyes & skinny jeans June 3, 2019 at 16:52

This has always been one of my favorite paintings – it’s so serene and peaceful. I love the set you created inspired from it – especially the nifty makeup subsection!

Rowena June 3, 2019 at 19:55

I love the back stories you always provide for the art work you feature Mary Jo. They’re always so fascinating! I should really look into a silk pillowcase 🙂

Ann June 3, 2019 at 22:58

What a lovely painting and an equally lovely story behind it.
Nice post.

Kim June 4, 2019 at 02:49

Hi! Glad you’re back! Thanks for popping by today to let me know! I have seen that painting (well, reproductions) and I never knew the backstory. Amazing. You can feel her determination come off the canvas!

FASHION TALES June 4, 2019 at 14:16

This was so interesting and I’m so glad to know more about this painting. I’ve loved the colours and always wondered more about it. Welcome back, and thanks very much for your comments and visit. Hope you’re enjoying your spring so far <3

Suz June 5, 2019 at 17:55

I love the stories behind the art. Thanks. You have a beautiful blog which is a pleasure to visit.

Marcela June 5, 2019 at 22:16

Lovely painting!!! nice inspiration!!!
Have a good week!!!!!:)))

Marika Odoardi June 6, 2019 at 02:00

That’s a great painting!

Zara June 6, 2019 at 11:57

Never seen this painting before… such a touching story behind!
Thanks for the cosmetics tips too! Btw, I’ve never used an eye-liner as a pencil yet.. just wonder if it dries up quickly?
take care!
be back!

XO

Audrey Allure June 6, 2019 at 23:14

For the Figment Art Festival, one of my friends participated in an “Art Comes to Life” piece, and she posed as this painting! Funny enough, I recently visited this at the MoMa – such beautiful work.

Couture Carrie June 7, 2019 at 00:25

Amazing post!
Must try that mascara!

xoxox,
CC

Denise June 7, 2019 at 12:27

I never saw that one hanging in any of My Grandparents home’s,it is new to Me. I do like it though.Thank You for dropping by to say hello and leading Me to Your blog,where I always learn something new. Hugs to You and blessings Your way-Denise

Style Diary Of A Fashion Fanatic June 8, 2019 at 02:59

Hi!!!!!
How have you been?
I love that painting!!!!!!
Hope you have a great day,
Shannon

Catherine Robinson June 8, 2019 at 09:24

Hello…thanks for popping over always lovely to hear from you…I adore this painting, I haven’t seen it before…I could look at it forever! xx

Diana Mieczan June 8, 2019 at 13:47

Oh boy, the back story is so fascinating, sweetie! Btw: I think I need the DV Mascara now:) Have a great morning.

Alicia Mackin June 8, 2019 at 18:26

Wow I never knew the story behind this painting. But I remember this painting as a kid and how haunting it was. Yes so many people in our society think they have problems but they don’t, they just have issues. Thanks for the info!

little luxury list June 9, 2019 at 02:03

I only remembered this painting after looking at it for a while. I never noticed details like the thin arms and the individual blades of grass before. She really is so strong and the pillow cases also exude quiet elegance too!

Leave a Comment

Subscribe With Us